March 21, 2009

July 11 is shaping up to be a busy night for mixed martial arts enthusiasts.

Affliction will counter-program UFC 100 on the summer date with its third event at a location yet to be determined, according to sources close to the situation.

The card is just under a week from the first anniversary of "Banned," the clothing company's initial foray into MMA promotion.

Plans are to air the event to fans on non-premium cable television, although sources could not confirm the broadcast platform. Affliction Entertainment has partnered with Fox Sports Net and HD Net for the undercards of its first two events, so either would be a likely candidate for Affliction 3.

Additionally, WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and JoshBarnett are expected to fight on the card, but likely not against each other. According to one source, the cost of the heavily anticipated fight would be too expensive for a non-pay-per-view broadcast. Other sources indicate that Affliction is trying to put together another heavyweight bout, pitting former UFC champion Tim Sylvia against Paul Buentello, though it has not yet been agreed to.

The event is a bold move for the MMA startup, which has seen both of its events shadowed by UFC programming. UFC 100 has long been touted as a special event in the Las Vegas-based promotion's history, and is scheduled to feature two title bouts -- a heavyweight unification bout between Frank Mir and BrockLesnar and the third title defense of Georges St. Pierre -- as well as The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 battle between coaches Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping.

As for speculation that Affliction's third offering will be it's grand exit from MMA, all sources close to the promotion are in agreement with Affliction Entertainment COO Michael D. Cohen. The executive told blogger Ariel Helwani, "It's absolutely untrue ... Trump's Affliction Entertainment is going nowhere except to the top, and the company will continue throughout 2009 and well into 2010."

You May Like